As Sam Cooke once said, “It’s been a long time coming but I know a change gonna’ come.”
For the greater part of my blog’s existence, many of the regulars have insisted on calling me Nance Nance Revolution (NNR). Well thanks to one of my favorite prefrosh, the dream is now reality!
Check out an incredible piece of graphic art from Ms. Star Simpson of the great state of Hawaii. (Embarrassing moment coming…) Star, you are so awesome for creating my new banner. Not to mention the fact that you are a perfect fit for MIT and I can’t wait to see you as a freshman this fall. Remember to bring warm clothes… even our September weather may be a bit brisk for you!
I would like to give a shout out to all of the great students who humbled me with their presence during Campus Preview Weekend. Thank you Blessing, Carley, Star, Timur, Carlos, Jose, Lisa (love the hair color!), Allyson, YeSeul, Darryl, Jonathan, Cecilla, Ricardo, Keri, Willie, Dina, Javier, Isaiah, Bayo, Nur, Justin, Camille, Xavier, Marie, Daniel, Muhammad and Ryan (just to name a very few of you).
For those who couldn’t make it (like Kelli), we really missed you. Words cannot express how pleased I was to gaze upon the MIT family and see a reflection that is much more representative of America than ever before. Ladies and gentlemen, take a bow. You came, you saw, you proved why you belong at MIT.
While I’m at it, parents, you should take a bow as well. You heeded the call of your sons & daughters. You got out of the way. You left the students to their own devices. As we say in the urban vernacular, “You chilled while your peeps was handlin’ they biz in the cut.”
For those who missed the festivities, we kicked off CPW with two receptions on Thursday night – one for parents and one for students.
I was at the parent reception and those folks went to Church! We had a Gospel Choir sing and two of MIT’s finest – Karl Reid (Director of the Office of Minority Education) and Wes Harris (Department Head of Aero/Astro) – lit the crowd on fire. It didn’t hurt that we had an open bar for the parents! (Hey, $40,000 worth of tuition ought to get the parents something too!)
The student reception began with a buffet that was out of this world! Fried Chicken, Mac & Cheese, Candied Yams, Sweet Potato Pie, Burritos, Refried Beans, Tamales, and of course Enchiladas. As a way of welcoming you, 200+ of my favorite MIT students showed up to welcome the newly admitted minority students. And just to show you that we got flava’ we were treated to hot performances from Mocha Moves and Casino Rueda.
Friday we let you go to classes and see MIT in all of its glory. We finished off the evening with what I thought was the star attraction, the Meet The Bloggers party. It was great to put names and faces together, and it was really cool that all the parents showed up to say hello.
Saturday was a day of days! We were treated to an unexpected Probate Show from the Distinguished Brothers of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Incorporated. (Big ups to my main man Bradley from the ATL!) Thanks to their showmanship we were able to bring African American Sororities and Fraternities from all over the greater Boston area to campus. This was a great way for us to prove that the minority community here is much bigger than a single campus. When you come to MIT you inherit an extended family from all over Beantown!
What’s a Probate show without food? Prefrosh and their parents got a chance to break bread with over 400 minority students from the greater Boston area. No trash talkin’, no drama, just a sea of Black and Brown folks chillin’ and eating top shelf BBQ. (Don’t think I didn’t see the folks from the Dirty, Dirty – a.k.a down south – make those pulled pork sandwiches with the cole slaw!)
That night transitioned nicely as the brothers of Chocolate City hosted a standing room only Open Mic Spoken Word event. All I can say is two snaps up! But the piece de resistance was watching one of my best friends take the stage at the Battle of the Bands. My colleague and fellow blogger Ben Jones and his band Tremulant took center, and as Eric B. & Rakim used to say, they Moved The Crowd. As if that wasn’t enough, my boss and mentor Dean Marilee Jones took the stage with Tremulant and delivered a stirring rendition of Joni Mitchell’s Big Yellow Taxi. (Where else can you see Tim the Beaver crowd surfing?)
There is no question that this event was the highlight of my tenure at MIT. Just as I’ve acknowledged the attendees, I need to do the same for the folks behind the scenes that made the magic possible.
First I need to thank the Minority Ambassadors – Ms. Monica Simo, Ms. Val Lugo, Mr. Jeffery Kirby, Mr. Jon Gibbs and Mr. Luis Cervantes. These super-dedicated students take time out of their busy schedules to assist the admissions office in recruiting our fair share of minority students.
I’d also like to thank my co-workers for allowing me to try different hair-brained ideas all at the last minute. Thank you Ben, Jenny, Alia, Mikey, Stu, Jo-Jo, Amy, Matt, Edmund, and of course, Marilee.
The biggest thanks of all have to go to my wife Tina. Thank you for letting me pursue my passions with reckless abandonment. Thanks to you and this job, I am constantly reminded that I am bigger than the sum of my parts.
Enough from me. What do you think of my new NNR banner? How was your CPW experience?